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Outdoor Lighting Tips

by Christina Crow-Dufault 14 March, 2013 10:00

While the bottom half of the country is getting warmer, those of us in the northern states are starting to defrost.  As the spring season approaches, we start to think about projects in and around our homes.  You might refer to yourself as a Weekend Warrior or an avid DIYer.

Whatever you call yourself, the outdoor season is coming and it’s the perfect time to start thinking about your yard! And with all the work you put into your landscaping, why not show it off into the evening hours. Plus, you can add a little more security to your home with entry way spot lights and dusk-to-dawn sensors.

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Lighting for Property Managers: Time for a Change?

by Christina Crow-Dufault 2 October, 2012 11:15

For decades, choosing a light bulb was a fairly simple task. We didn’t have all these choices we now have today. Wattage meant brightness and we didn’t have to worry about dimmer compatibility.  

Yes, there is a lot of new products and information out there now, but that’s okay. Change is good.

These new products can help us save energy, money and the planet through innovative, lower-wattage, long-life products that don’t produce nearly as much pollution during the manufacturing process as older types of lighting. 

Products such as CFLs and LEDs will help to reduce your energy bills, labor costs and even HVAC related costs. And as a Property Manager -of one location or many- that can make all the difference.

Phased-out bulbs, new efficiency standards, updated packaging labels and LED improvements over the last few years have presented some challenges, but they have also opened up a number of opportunities.

Whether you’re upgrading for the first time from incandescent to CFLs or you’re making the move to LEDs, here are some things you should keep in mind. 

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Lighting for Distributors: Staying ahead of the Curve

by Christina Crow-Dufault 24 July, 2012 05:27

As a distributor of lighting products it can be challenging and often time consuming to find the right products for your customers’ needs.  Also, constant changes in technology and recent government legislation can make it difficult to keep up. Most recently, LED lighting and the PAR Halogen/T12 Fluorescent lamp Phase-out have been keeping us busy.  Here are a few things you should know:
 

LED lighting

LED BulbsLED lamps are becoming more popular by the minute!  The good news is that this technology is rapidly improving and in turn, the cost is decreasing. Yes, LEDs may still come at a higher cost, but consider these worthwhile benefits:

  • Reduced energy costs-LEDs use 75-90% less energy than halogen and incandescent lamps.
  • Reduced labor costs-Long life means you don’t have to change your bulbs as often.
  • Reduced HVAC costs-Halogens put off high amounts of heat, make the switch and turn down you’re AC!
  • Utility Rebates for being an Energy Saver-check with your local utility provider for offers.

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Lighting for Retail: Make Your Products Shine!

by Christina Crow-Dufault 7 May, 2012 04:02

Retail store lightingMuch like our recent blog post about the different types of lighting for the hospitality industry, the retail industry requires just as much attention when it comes to the products you sell and the environment you are creating for your customer.

It’s safe to say that just about every manager or business owner is looking for ways to save.  Energy costs from HVAC and lighting are no exception. The most common options are energy saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and LEDs.  Both can produce quality light with the CRI needed for retail locations.

In the past, CFLs did not perform as well as they do today.  Light quality, color temperature and average rated life of the bulb have all made significant improvements over the years.  Still, it is a wise choice to purchase a reputable brand as there are some very inexpensive CFLs that often fail to meet their claim. Here is a great post if you would like to delve deeper into CFLs as an option. There are even dimmable options for spiral CFLs and CFL reflectors.  Tip: Speak with one of our Lighting Specialists as some lighting controls (dimmers, occupancy sensors) are not always compatible with dimmable CFL lamps. Additionally, if you are currently using a large quantity of halogen lamps to light your space, CFLs are a great solution as they produce very little heat.

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Meet the winning L Prize LED! *UPDATED*

by Christina Crow-Dufault 27 January, 2012 12:10

Back in 2008, the Department of Energy (DOE) launched the Bright Tomorrow Lighting Prize (L Prize) competition, as instructed by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The L Prize challenged the lighting industry to develop an efficient LED to replace the common 60 watt incandescent bulb. Any entries received were put through rigorous short-term and long-term performance testing. The winning bulb was required to produce more than 900 lumens and also have a 25,000 hour life. In addition, it must also have a Color Rendering Index (CRI) higher than 90 and a Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) between 2700K and 3000K-all while using less than 10 watts of electricity!

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Holiday Safety Tips: Before, During and After

by Christina Crow-Dufault 6 December, 2011 09:57

It's that time of year again. Yes, time for many of us to begin decorating for the holidays (if you haven't started already).  If your last name is Griswold, please pay attention.  If not, still pay attention, as it is very important to take your lighting seriously this holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, thirty per cent of all home fires occur during December, January and February.  In addition, nearly 6,000 people a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. More than half of these injuries involve falls from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors. We could tell you about all the injuries, but instead, here are some of the most common holiday decoration and lighting tips to keep you safe!

 

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Tips and Tricks

Interview with Greg Henderson, Roxbury Motel Co-Owner

by Bryan Trainor 20 January, 2011 07:00

Gregory Henderson is co-owner of the Roxbury Motel, located in the Catskill Mountain town of Roxbury, NY. He and his partner Joe Massa's unique approach to contemporary lodging has been featured in a number of publications including New York Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, and Madame, and the Roxbury was called one of the "Grooviest Motels in the U.S." by Daryn Kagen of CNN Live Today.

We asked Greg to sit down with us to discuss the Roxbury Motel, and the role lighting plays in the lodging experience.

Chris Robarge conducted the interview, and is a certified Lighting Specialist and web marketer at Bulbs.com.

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Cooler Than Ever- Halogen IR Bulbs Use Less Energy, Last Longer, Generate Less Heat

by Chris Weber 3 December, 2010 10:15

CFLs and LEDs have generated a lot of attention over the last few years, but they're still not the best fit for every socket. There are some applications, such as those using dimmers, timers, and photo sensors, where halogen bulbs are still the best choice. If you're looking for increased efficiency from these sockets, look no further than halogen infrared.

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LED – Is It Right For You?

by Eric Cole 23 September, 2010 05:18

Eric Cole is Bulbs.com's Category Manager for LED lighting products.

 

I know that many of our customers are trying to educate themselves about LED technology. In a sense, most of us in the industry are doing the same thing. LED technology has been around for some time and we at Bulbs.com have been following its progress very closely, but what LED is going to look like as a widespread, effective, and reliable everyday lighting solution is still evolving.  Here are some thoughts on what to look for, and what to look out for, when considering a transition to LEDs.

Let’s look at the benefits

LEDs are most well known for their extremely long life and energy efficiency. LED useful life is based on the number of operating hours until the LED is emitting 70% of its initial light output.  Top quality LEDs in well-designed fixtures are expected to have a useful life of 30,000 to 50,000 hours, significantly higher than the 1,000 hours for a typical incandescent bulb and 8,000 to 10,000 hours for a comparable CFL. LEDs usually don’t “burn out” like incandescent bulbs do.  Instead, they get progressively dimmer over time. This can be helpful in critical lighting areas. They also tend to use less than one-sixth as much energy as their incandescent or halogen counterparts, and 2-3 times less than most CFLs. More...

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Hot, Hot, Hot! Cold Cathode CFLs are both dimmable and flashable

by Chris Weber 8 September, 2010 07:28

Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFLs) have been around for about five years, but don't get the consideration they often deserve. They have more than double the life of standard Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and are better incandescent bulb replacements for dimming and flashing applications.

A quick technical overview

CCFL and CFL technologies are very similar - they both use integrated ballasts to regulate electrical current into a glass tube to excite mercury and phosphors and make UV light. The biggest differences between the two technologies are the type, temp, and resiliency of the cathodes used at the ends of the glass tubes. Standard CFL cathodes incorporate a thin tungsten wire that gets to 900°F while CCFL cathodes are more like solid metal thimbles that peak around 200°F (a "cold" cathode, relatively speaking.) Because the CCFL cathodes are more durable, they can be hit with more voltage (about 5 X) more often than standard CFLs and that opens up opportunities to use CCFL in applications where CFL products consistently fail. More...

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